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Marquette University Alumni Association

J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication Award Recipients

Professional Achievement Award

Katherine BurgessKatherine Kuehl Burgess, Comm '91
Green Bay, Wis.

As Kate describes it, CEO on her business card at Elevate97 means chief elevating officer, which she works tirelessly to do, regardless of whether it’s to benefit clients or her community.

Elevate97 works with companies such as Kate Spade, Adidas, Calvin Klein and Carhartt. In Wisconsin, the marketing support services company has the Green Bay Packers, Schneider and Schrieber Foods as clients. Founded by Kate’s husband Tom in 1997, the business has grown to nearly 100 employees.

“We started in a garage,” she says. “Along the way, we’ve moved to four locations and acquired other organizations as part of our growth plan.”

Kate’s goal of elevation stays with her inside the office and out of it. “We often say we only have one life and one planet to live it on,” she says. “So the question is: ‘How do we make it the very best we can?’ That requires elevating. Every person. Every relationship. Every project. Every day.”

Kate is committed to empowering youth through education. She has served on the boards of the Women’s Fund, Boys & Girls Clubs, and Notre Dame Academy. She also hosts networking events, including a recent visit from Jeff Hoffman, founder of, for the Marquette CIRCLES program, which brought together more than 320 alumni and friends.